Our music review for the past twelvemonth
There is no doubt that 2017 was a year of sweet pop songs made to cheer you up. After all, that’s what we all sometimes need amid rising tensions and unwanted developments that filled in the headlines of newspapers around the world: from North Korea crisis to terrorist attacks at major points of interests in big cities, included even events such was the case with Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester. However, we are not to focus in this review on Ariana’s One Last Time which pushed record downloads following the Manchester tragedy, nor other sweet pop such as perhaps Imagine Dragon’s Thunder or Dua Lipa’s New Rules.
These are all great tracks, which one can often hear playing while taking a drink at a cafe downtown or over the radio. Or VH1 that could have cut a little on that Despacito track for the sake of all of us. After so many repeated plays on the shuffle, one can develop serious illness such as bulimia.
What we loved from music in 2017 was The Blaze, a French duo we previously praised for releasing a genuine musical homage to homecoming. What seems to be the best part about The Blaze is that they are as good in making music as they are in filming their videos. The duo had immediately grabbed the attention of millions as they went on to release their debut Virile, a video feature of it showing two men, presumably close friends and of North African descent, listening and dancing to music late into the night. They appear to be in a bare-bones apartment in urban towers block setting. Possibly Paris , away from home. The narrative of this video relates to the second release, Territory, which follows another North African fellow coming home to Algiers, the White City. Whether you start listening to The Blaze only now, bear in mind, their work is addictive as if it was drugs.
Next, Arcade Fire with newly-released album Everything Now. Slightly melancholic and yet perfectly nostalgia-inducing, many people have commented that this latest release of the Canadians is nowhere near good as its predecessor from 2013, Reflector which gave some genuine epic tracks, such as It’s Never Over and We Exist. Still, there is something to Everything Now that catches the ear, and you can play it over and over again, for far too many hours. From the tracks, Peter Pan – a favorite.
Last but not least, Icelandic singer and songwriter, Björk, has released a new album at the end of November, and before the release, she went on to share a music video for her single The Gate. The video caught international attention for several reasons, one of them being Björk’s other-worldly appearance in a Gucci dress that reportedly took 870 hours to create. In a statement for the Dazed magazine, the Icelandic artist drew a parallel of this track to her previous album from 2015: “The Gate is essentially a love song, but I say ‘love’ in a more transcendent way. Vulnicura was about a very personal loss, and I think this new album is about a love that’s even greater. It’s about rediscovering love–but in a spiritual way, for lack of a better word.” With nine studio albums, and now at the age of 52, Björk keeps strong in the game, a rare artist who has not failed in continually delivering great music to the world.
And while one can easily say what-the-hell with new music at the end of this year, ‘the good guys’ are still well around. The Blaze, Arcade Fire or Björk are just a few examples. Lose it all or nothing at all; we are marching off into perhaps even more fabulous 2018. Which are your music favorites from 2017? Tell us in the comments below:
P.S. If Manchester is your city, vote it here for City of the year